USDA releases farm assistance program details

USDA releases farm assistance program details
Aug 28, 2018

Three programs total about US$12 billion in funding

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The USDA has unveiled the funding allotments for the three federal farm assistance programs.

In July, the USDA announced it was authorizing US$12 billion for the programs, which will help offset the estimated US$11-billion economic impact of trade tariffs on American agriculture.

“After careful analysis by our team at USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers,” Secretary Perdue told reporters this afternoon. “Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them.”

USDA’s programs are the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP).

Producers can start to sign up for programs on Sept. 4.

The Farm Service Agency will administer the MFP, which will make about $4.7 billion in direct payments to U.S. producers.

Farmers can receive payments based on a pre-determined formula: total 2018 production multiplied by 50 percent, multiplied by an estimated payment rate.

The payments are as follows.


Initial Payment Rate

Initial Payment (in $1,000s)







Dairy (milk)



Pork (hogs)













The payments will be limited to about $125,000 per person.

The Agricultural Marketing Service will support the Food Purchase and Distribution Program.

This initiative authorizes $1.2 billion in spending to purchase crops from farmers, which are distributed through nutrition programs.

The USDA will purchase nearly 30 commodities, although pork ($558 million), apples ($93 million) and dairy ($84 million) will account for the bulk of the spending.

The third assistance program is the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATPP).

The Foreign Agricultural Service will administer the $200-million program, which is designed to open new markets for U.S. agriculture.

Commodity groups are eligible to submit ATPP funding applications from Sept. 4 to Nov. 2.

USDA will announce funding distributions in early 2019.

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